The European Union yesterday issued a final warning to China over its booming textile exports, threatening sanctions against two categories of textiles to prevent ?irreparable harm? to European producers. EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson has proposed emergency talks with China on imports of T-shirts and flax yarn. T-shirts and flax yarn are two of the nine categories of textile imports from China currently under investigation by Brussels following allegations of a surge in exports. Under the emergency talks procedure the normal 60 day WTO procedure is by-passed:
Normally investigations can take up to 60 days, but the procedure allows for this period to be cut short and urgent consultations within the WTO triggered for any product where import surges and the risk of immediate damage to the EU industry are very high. “In view of the seriousness of market disruption in these categories, formal consultations need to begin immediately,” the European Commission said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Only if China does not take effective action will the Commission propose temporary limits or safeguard measures on the growth of Chinese exports in the categories concerned in 2005.”
Under WTO rules, the consultation procedure requires China to remedy the situation by slowing the growth of its exports in these area to the level of the first 12 of the previous 14 months, plus 7.5 per cent.
Does this decision mean people are really getting nervous about the upcoming French constitution referendum? I have a longer post on this topic here.